Our Domestic Diva's name is Elizabeth Griscom Ross, but she is better known as Betsy Ross. She was born Elizabeth Griscom in Philadelphia, PA January 1, 1752 to Quaker parents. Her family was quite large, Betsy was the 8th child out of 17, however only 9 of those children survived childhood. Childhood back then was rough, I am so glad for 21st century medicine! Betsy learned how to sew from the women in her house and later became an apprentice to an upholsterer named William Webster. I am kind of a little jealous of this information. I would love to learn how to sew, but the difference for me is that it would be for pleasure, not for income to eat. What I also like is that after Betsy's schooling she learned a skill, which lead her to meeting her first husband, John Ross another apprentice to William Webster.
According to the information I've read, John and Betsy eloped and this caused a split from her family and was kicked out of the Quaker church. I have strong feelings about that! Where is the love, where is the forgiveness?......anyway, back to the story.....John and Betsy soon opened their own upholstery shop and joined a congregational church in Philadelphia.
Have you ever visited the old colonial congregational churches? I have, and they are very unique in their set up. The church is white on the inside and the only color is up at the pulpit. This is to help keep your attention on the pastor. There are also boxes where a family would sit every Sunday. The family boxes are thought to help keep a family warmer during the winter, as there was no heat in the church. According to www.ushistory.com/betsy/, Betsy's family box was next to George and Martha Washington's. Had she not married John Ross, she may have ever crossed paths with George Washington, which will come to help make her part of US history. Not long after John and Betsy were married, John died in a gunpowder explosion while he was guarding munitions. Betsy was widowed at 23.
She continued to run their business, doing upholstery, making tents, working on uniforms, whatever she could sew, including flags. NOW...this part is hearsay, but her grandchildren would have their affidavit written down to tell the story their grandmother, Betsy, told them. Betsy herself never had things written down and we have no record of these events...however, I believe! According to www.ushistory.com/betsy/and wikipedia.com, Betsy told her family and friends of the day when three members of a secret committee from the Continental Congress came to call upon her. Those representatives, George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross, asked her to sew the first flag. This meeting occurred in her home some time late in May 1776. George Washington was then the head of the Continental Army. Robert Morris, an owner of vast amounts of land, was perhaps the wealthiest citizen in the Colonies. Colonel George Ross was a respected citizen of Philadelphia and also the uncle of her late husband, John Ross. Betsy said that George Washington had a rough sketch of what he wanted the flag to look like, which included a 6 point star. Betsy showed him that she could make a 5 point star with scissors in a single snip.....impressive! This impressed them and they then entrusted her with making the flag. She had the flag made and ready by June 1776 in time for the signing of the Declaration of Independence in July. About a year later on June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress, seeking to promote national pride and unity, adopted the national flag. "Resolved: that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."
The Revolutionary War was devastating for so many, including Betsy Ross. She lost 2 husbands to the war and her 3rd husband was imprisoned before they met. She had 6 daughters, one dying as an infant. Considering all the diseases and the break out of war, she lived all the way to the ripe age of 84, going blind 3 years before she died.
We remember her as the creator of the 1st American flag. I'm sure it was dangerous creating a flag that would represent rebellion to the British people. I'm guessing she didn't sew it out in the open, but she did sew it. She was willing to do what she could to make a difference in the cause for freedom. May we never forget our beginnings as a country! May we look to God and these beginnings for wisdom for our future!
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.